Canadian Unemployment Still Climbing As Population Outpaces Jobs 3x

Canada’s labor market continues to add jobs, but not nearly enough to keep it from falling behind. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) released the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS) showing employment grew in May. The same data shows the growth was just a third of what was needed to accomodate its rapid population growth. As a result, the unemployment rate climbed higher as tens of thousands of workers were added to the tally of those looking for a job.

Canada Gains Jobs, But It’s Losing Full-Time Employment

Canada continues to add jobs to its economy, avoiding a contraction for now. Employment rose 0.1 points (+27k jobs) to 20.5 million in May. Part-time jobs didn’t just dominate, rising 1.7% (+62k jobs); they were making up for the 0.2% decline (-36k jobs) that full-time employment made. 

It’s a trend that was generally consistent over the past year as labor markets loosen. Canada saw the number of jobs rise 2.0% (+402k) over the past year. Breaking that down, part-time jobs (+3.8%) grew more than double the rate of full-time (+1.6%). That also brings up the involuntary part-time rate, which climbed to 18.2% as nearly 1 in 5 part-time workers fail to find full-time employment. 

Canada’s Population Growth Is 3x Its Job Creation Rate

By itself the growth may sound impressive, but not when contrasted with the country’s population growth. Canada’s 15+ working-age  population surged 0.3% (+97.6k) last month, 3x the rate of employment added. Over The past year, the working-age population has climbed a record 3.4% (+1.1 million), meaning just 1 job was added for every 3 workers.  

Canadian Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than Pre-2020

The seasonally adjusted rate of unemployed Canadians.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Canadian Unemployment Climbs To Nearly 1.4 Million People

Adding jobs at a third of the rate of people has naturally led to rising unemployment. The unemployment rate climbed 0.1 points (+27.7k people) to 6.2% in May, about 0.9 points (+250k people) higher than last year. Roughly 1.37 million people are now unemployed, with another 692k underemployed. That doesn’t include full-time students, who can be statistically considered employed but not unemployed, since they can’t technically be ready, willing, and able to work as required by the survey. 

Coincidentally, the country’s largest bank noted Canada’s soaring student population. It appears finding work while in school isn’t just a problem; it’s also problematic to find work once students have concluded their studies. 

“A disproportionate share of the rise in the unemployment rate is still coming from students that are entering the job market for the first time and taking longer to find work, although the number of permanent layoffs was also up 33% year-over-year in May,” explains Nathan Janzen, assistant chief economist at RBC. 

That’s right, climbing permanent layoffs. 

Ultimately, this all boils down to a rapidly loosening job market. The general guideline is that an unemployment rate rising more than 0.5 points will trigger a recession. Canada’s is currently at 0.9 points, nearly double that level. The country is already in a per-capita recession, but the aggregate growth is obfuscated by adding demand via excess population growth.

15 Comments

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  • Reply
    Daniel Ko 5 days ago

    Doesn’t matter how much interest rates are cut if you don’t income. Well, you might get a mortgage but it’s not going to be pretty.

    • Reply
      Mortgage Guy 5 days ago

      This is the rub. It was already the issue with students who are coming in by the hundreds of thousands and rental vacancies are falling in major cities. It doesn’t matter how many people there are if they can’t afford the units.

  • Reply
    Fazid 5 days ago

    Speaking of employment, did anyone else see the sob story on the news where they told everyone their hardship of buying a home a couple hours from Toronto, and how hard it is to commute and work two jobs BEFORE the interest rate hikes?

    Am I crazy? Who gave them a mortgage qualified with 80 hour work weeks? LOL

    • Reply
      Mortgage Guy 5 days ago

      In my experience, there’s most likely a lot more to this story. It’s hard for a journalist to start asking questions that may reveal the sob story was just a collection of poor choices.

      I don’t know who would qualify someone on an irregular work schedule that’s temporary. It could have been any number of things though, like they didn’t get a 2% mortgage and used a private lender who told them they could. They might have also got a 2% mortgage based on a co-signor who told the bank they would make up any difference, but had no intention of actually being the person.

      Fact of the matter is when you have a bubble, people will make rash decisions since they only see the risk of being locked out forever. There’s a middle ground between being too rational and not assuming risk, and assuming risk that may destroy your household.

      I honestly hope they figure it out but it should serve as a warning to never take on more than you can afford to handle.

  • Reply
    Ahmed 5 days ago

    What happens to your population growth when it’s based on promising jobs to young men that you import, and they figure out it was a lie? They’ll tell their friends back home.

    • Reply
      Tia Wolfe 5 days ago

      Have you even met men?

      They won’t tell their friends. They’ll try to save face and pretend it’s better than it is and convince their friends to come. Then when they do, they’ll both bro-down and tell their families things are great.

      It doesn’t matter what country people are from, guys are basically the same everywhere and it’ll be the end of them.

      • Reply
        Mark Bayly 5 days ago

        They stay for the citizenship and then leave They can always run back for expensive medical procedures child care benefits old age pensions etc After five years you’re the same as someone whose family has lived here for 500 years Same thing no difference

      • Reply
        Jay 5 days ago

        Yes, men are bad commicator as a group. Women are sounding the alarm on socials though. But people use Canada as a way into the US. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to endure hardship for the “land of the free” as it is better than what they have.

    • Reply
      Jay 5 days ago

      They turn to crime: see 1.4B car insurance payouts just in 2023.

  • Reply
    Robert Catenacci 5 days ago

    Great job by Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister.LOL What a clown show.

  • Reply
    Ron Bruce 5 days ago

    Coincidentally, the country’s largest bank noted Canada’s soaring student population. It appears finding work while in school isn’t just a problem; it’s also problematic to find work once students have concluded their studies. The Federal Immigration Department under Trudeau has created this problem. Wait for AI to eliminate all work and careers in every discipline. I can think of five to ten professions that could disappear with little effort using AI.

  • Reply
    Craig 5 days ago

    When people come here and realize they are pawns in some kind of bizarre ponzi scheme called “The Century Initiative,” where real estate goes up forever … workers are crowded into 60 storey Chicken Coops, cheap labour is plentiful, and Canada’s goal in bringing them here was to pad the coffers and ultimately become an important player on the world stage …, pumping our population up to 100 million while world populations fall. They might just wake up and realize they have been had. Then they might just get angry.

    “Build it and they will come,” to quote the Field of Dreams.

  • Reply
    peter 4 days ago

    this will not improve . it will fuel resentment based on vague promises that will never be met, the immigration influx was based on increased tax dollars that never materialized, creating a burden on an already strained social system , crime from desperation will be the outcome , Trudeau and the BOC headed by an idiot twice passed over until he was the closest warm body , are the problem , spending money like a drunken sailor in a whorehouse , amassing debt that will never and cannot be paid saddling future generations with the impossible task of managing this , remember when the German Mark was worthless and desperation and blame caused a world war? stay tuned because your worst enemy is someone that has nothing to lose…

  • Reply
    Scott Henderson 4 days ago

    House prices MUST be supported. Lower rates to 0.25% to stimulate house prices.

  • Reply
    Disco Duck 4 days ago

    I don’t see an issue with “Canada’s 15+ working-age population surged 0.3% last month, 3x the rate of employment added” because not all 15+ immigrants want a job. Many are students coming to Canada with parents. Some parents choose to stay out of the workforce to raise kids. I would think that if you wanted to fill job vacancies with immigrants you would want at least an excess of 15+ immigrants over vacant positions. Unless I am missing something….?

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